Fleetwood boss Joey Barton's verdict on how his team dealt with Portsmouth side reliant on physicality

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Joey Barton felt his men dismissed the threat of a Pompey side reliant on physicality.

And the Fleetwood boss believes his side managed to continue their impressive winning form despite there being factors in favour of the opposition.

Barton was fearful the clash at Highbury Stadium could’ve fallen foul of the elements with a pre-match hailstorm and gale-force winds throughout.

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But Callum Connolly got the only goal of the game to see the Cod Army leap above the Blues and move into the play-off places with a fifth win on the bounce.

Barton told www.fleetwoodtownfc.com: ‘I thought we were excellent in all areas, especially given the conditions and I thought it was slightly windier than last week and we did think the game could be called off.

‘We were desperate for the game to be on as we knew we had a chance to beat them.

‘The pitch today probably suited Portsmouth rather than us as they sometimes play for the second balls and are built for the physical encounter and if you said you wanted a contest on it, it would be massively in their favour.

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‘You have the play the conditions and I thought today in the second half, when the wind was blowing into our goal, we handled their physicality superbly and tad unfortunate not to add to our goal tally.’

Joey Barton. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.comJoey Barton. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Joey Barton. Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Barton explained he senses a belief around his club as they move towards the end of the season in a strong position and move up the League One table.

And the fact they were able to continue their strong form against Pompey was a source of pride for the Scouser.

He said: ‘The lads have given me and the coaching staff everything since day one.

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‘The players are feeding off the energy inside the stadium and it now looks like the whole town are believing.

‘We were walking around the town last night (Friday), and everyone we saw was excited for the match and with this, the players will feel it.

‘The staff are feeling the buzz too and on the pitch, you can see the players using that. We must continue with the great energy around and keep the belief going, because for us to beat Portsmouth, it makes me so proud!’

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